China’s population is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2030 and then drop to 1.1 billion in 2100, a senior official said on the sidelines of the ongoing Two Sessions on Saturday.
“China does not lack in population, not in a few decades, not in 100 years,” said Wang Peian, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
According to Wang, China's working age population of between 15 and 64 years old currently accounts for 73 percent of the overall population.
In comparison, the working age population in the US accounts for 66 percent of the population, while it stands at 67 percent in Europe and 61 percent in Japan.
Wang said the the number will gradually fall to around 800 million by 2050, by which time the total working age population in the United States and other developed countries in Europe is expected to be approximately 730 million.
Medium term forecast
China's population will peak in 2029 at 1.44 billion before beginning a period of "unstoppable" decline, a government report says.
The China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) study says the country must implement policies to handle a smaller workforce and an older population.
Both changes combined could cause "very unfavourable social and economic consequences", the report says.
The study appears in CASS's Green Book of Population and Labour.
Working population numbers were now stagnating, it said, with a low fertility rate set to cause further issues.
By the middle of the century, China's population is expected to drop to 1.36 billion - a fall in the labour force of close to 200 million.
Breakdown of China's population by age group
Proportion of total population (1960-2050)
Image: World Bank
If fertility rates stay low, the population could drop as low as 1.17 billion by 2065.
The study also predicted a rise in the dependency rate, meaning the proportion of non-working people like the elderly and children.
While relaxing the one-child policy will help long-term, in the short term it will create more dependents, according to the report.
Previous forecasts reportedly suggest China's elderly population could hit 400 million by 2035, up from 240 million in 2017.
Photo: China News
Based on GB Times Beijing